20 Years at CLASP

The Youth Policy Team at CLASP was founded in 2003 at a time when youth funding was being decimated. Under the leadership of Dr. Linda Harris, the team's focus was to advance education and employment for opportunity youth and increase racial and gender equity in policy investments. The team's work grew over time from its core focus on youth economic justice to include a focus on justice and mental health based on feedback from young people and community partners.

Over its 20 year history, CLASP's youth team has been a powerful manifestation of Black women's leadership under the direction of Linda Harris, Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant, Kisha Bird, and Nia West-Bey. The team has been an incubator and home for people of color in policy work and an example of cross-racial solidarity. At CLASP, the youth team's work was unique for its focus on a population, rather than a particular set of policies. The Youth Team centered the voices, lived experience, and leadership of young people. The team's analysis also located policy problems and solutions in the context of systems of power. Systems of power are the isms, like racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia that are the ground on which our systems and institutions are built. The team committed to tackling root causes and dismantling systems of oppression.

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